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KIA E-Niro charges forward to be named Car of the Year


Very highly regarded UK consumer motoring publication What Car? has named the Kia e-Niro electric vehicle (EV) as its 2019 Car of the Year during its 42nd annual awards ceremony in London last night.

The Kia e-Niro beat 23 other category winners to take the prestigious overall title, becoming the first electric car to win the prestigious What Car? Car of the Year Award.

Victory for the e-Niro, which has a ‘Real Range’ of 253 miles (or 407 Kilometres), also represents the first time Kia has taken the top prize at the ceremony.

The success for an electric car comes at the beginning of a big year for the EV market, with several major manufacturers, including Audi, Honda and Mercedes-Benz, all planning to launch new electric models in 2019.

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said at the awards ceremony “The demand for electric cars has grown exponentially in recent years, and 2019 is shaping up to be the biggest year yet.

“Most of the leading manufacturers have plans for new EVs, and the fact that the Kia e-Niro was able to beat all its petrol and diesel rivals to win the 2019 What Car? Car of the Year Award shows how far this technology has developed.

“The e-Niro stood out because it addresses the key issues of cost and range that have traditionally prevented many motorists from taking the plunge into EV ownership. Here is a spacious and practical family SUV that demands very few compromises.”

As well as taking home the main accolade at the 2019 What Car? Car of the Year Awards, the Kia e-Niro was also named ‘Electric Car of the Year’.

Hyundai joined Kia in being recognised for its work with alternative fuels, being named winner of the Technology Award for its progress with electric and fuel cell technology.

The 2019 What Car? Awards saw the introduction of three new categories, recognising the best models in the Plug-in Hybrid, Sports SUV and Pick-up markets. These awards were won by the Volvo XC90 T8, Seat Cupra Ateca and Volkswagen Amarok respectively.

Last year’s overall winner, the Volvo XC40, returned to be named Family SUV of the Year for a second year running, while the Skoda Octavia continued its run of success in the Family car category, and the Peugeot 5008 reclaimed the crown for the best Large SUV.

Reflecting the diverse range of cars available, the Performance and Sports Car category was split for 2019, broadening the range of eligible vehicles. The new Sports Car Award went to the Alpine A110, while the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio was named Performance Car of the Year.

Kia is the 20th car manufacturer to win an overall What Car? Car of the Year Award since its inception in 1978.

In addition to the winners chosen by the What Car?’s experts, What Car? readers were once again given the chance to have their say on the car they are most looking forward to seeing launched in 2019, with the Honda Urban EV coming out on top.

WHAT CAR? CAR OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2019 WINNERS LIST

CITY CAR
WINNER – Kia Picanto

SMALL CAR
WINNER – Volkswagen Polo

FAMILY CAR
WINNER – Skoda Octavia

SMALL SUV – SPONSORED BY CAP HPI
WINNER – Seat Arona

FAMILY SUV – SPONSORED BY NOCO
WINNER – Volvo XC40

LARGE SUV
WINNER – Peugeot 5008

LUXURY SUV
WINNER – Audi Q7

MPV
WINNER – Citroën Berlingo

ESTATE CAR
WINNER – Skoda Superb Estate

HOT HATCH – SPONSORED BY WARRANTY DIRECT AND BNP PARIBAS CARDIF
WINNER – Honda Civic Type R

CONVERTIBLE
WINNER – Mercedes Benz S-Class Cabriolet

COUPÉ
WINNER – Audi A5 Coupe

SPORTS CAR
WINNER – Alpine A110

PERFORMANCE CAR
WINNER – Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

SPORTS SUV
WINNER – Cupra Ateca

ELECTRIC CAR
WINNER – Kia e-Niro

HYBRID
WINNER – Hyundai Ioniq

PLUG IN HYBRID
WINNER – Volvo XC90 T8

EXECUTIVE CAR
WINNER – BMW 3 Series

PICK UP
WINNER – Volkswagen Amarok

LUXURY CAR
WINNER – BMW 5 Series

READER AWARD –
WINNER – Honda Urban EV

SAFETY AWARD –
WINNER – Mercedes-Benz A-Class

TECHNOLOGY AWARD
WINNER – Hyundai

CAR OF THE YEAR
WINNER – Kia e-Niro